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U20 World Cup Diary

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Everton v Krasnodar

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Three of Everton's five representatives were involved in England Under-20s' World Cup opener on Sunday.

The Young Lions led Iraq 2-0 with 15 minutes remaining but succumbed to a late leveller and ended the day with a point in Group E.

Our Blue boys have been reporting from Turkey and this time John Lundstram, who played 69 minutes in Antalya, provides the latest update from the camp.


It always feels like a defeat when you lead for a long period of the game and the other team get it back level so late on. We all believed we should have won.

We played better in the first half than the second, but it did feel like we'd lost at the final whistle.

On the other hand, it's very important to get something out of your first game. We got a draw, which we should now look at as a positive.

Iraq are a team that are probably a bit more used to the heat out here. But our lads know what to expect now and we'll be looking to get the win on Wednesday in our next group game against Chile.

I played on the right side of midfield on the night. I was surprised really, but I’ll play anywhere - as long as I'm on the field, I don't really mind. To be involved in a World Cup, it doesn't matter where you play, you do a job for the team.

My teammate Ross Barkley was in centre midfield and saw a lot of the ball - I thought he did well. He created a couple of chances, had a few shots and always seemed to be around the play.

Coming off the bench must have been a great experience for Chris Long too. It's great for me to be playing one age group above my own, but for Longy to be involved when he's in the Under-18s is unbelievable. It just shows what a player he is. I think he's got a big future.

Obviously we were disappointed with the draw but other than that, you can't complain. You're playing in a World Cup in a lovely country with a lot of your mates that you've been with for years.

After the game, the lads who have played generally have a cool down and get in the pool, have a nice bath and let the muscles relax. When the games start coming, it's more to do with conserving your energy rather than doing work.

We watched a little bit of Chile's 2-1 win over Egypt before our game and they look a good team. I'm sure the gaffer will make a few changes. There's 21 players in the squad and they're all capable of playing in the first XI so he may give a few lads a rest, but I'm sure whatever team goes out there will be capable of winning the game.

Chile are top of the group now so if we get a win, that might not guarantee we go through, but it will put us in a good position to finish first – and that would be brilliant for us.

Before the games started, we were left to do what we wanted around the hotel after training sessions. We were relaxing around the pool and it was nice to get a few games of golf in, but we've now got our serious heads on and are focusing on each match. We're down to business now. We've got a job to do and that continues on Wednesday.

We kick off at 6pm over here - that's 4pm back at home if you're watching us on Eurosport or FIFA.com!

John

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